By Brent Parrish
NOTE: I will be using direct quotes in this article, in a strictly historical context, not a gratuitous fashion, that contain the N-bomb … so there is no misunderstanding as to who said what, and for the sake of historical accuracy.
Recently I’ve been researching the subject matter of socialism and how it has influenced the American political landscape since the nation’s founding. Many times when I research anything in depth I will uncover surprising or interesting details I didn’t know before. And they always say, “The devil is in the details,” don’t they?
It’s hard to study socialism and its influence on the United States and not run smack dab into the Progressive Movement. The history of “progressivism” in American politics goes back a long way.
Some of the most profound structural and ideological changes to our republican form of government–as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution in Article 4, Section. 4–occurred a hundred years ago during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (e.g. 16th & 17th Amendments, Federal Reserve Act). It was Wilson who attempted to rebrand the Democrat Party as the “Progressive Party” in 1916.
But as I started to outline an article on the progressive policies of Woodrow Wilson, and the ideology of socialism in general, I decided to deal with two subjects that kept rearing their ugly heads during my research separately–specifically, socialism and racism. Over and over again, the issue of racism comes up when I study the ideology, theory and philosophy of Marxian socialism.
Interestingly, while scouring the interwebs for blog posts, I ran across an article about Leonardo DiCaprio producing and starring in an upcoming film based on the life of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The article is really more in the form of an open letter requesting that Wilson’s own racist views not be overlooked or “whitewashed.”
Robert Oliver wrote:
You have probably heard the news that Leonardo DiCaprio is going to produce and star in a film based on the life of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. I like DiCaprio. He is a wonderful actor.
However I have a concern. I’m hoping that the life of Wilson is not “whitewashed,” no pun intended. I know he is an icon of American history, but there is an element of his life that causes me great concern. As a black American, I feel it should cause you concern too. You will see why I ask you to personally contact DiCaprio.
Woodrow Wilson is considered one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. He is associated with progressives and the League of Nations. However there is a side of him that is not discussed in academia or in the media generally. Let’s uncover the facts.
NAACP officer W.E.B. Du Bois, also Editor of the NAACP publication The Crisis, expressed hopes in Wilson….
In 1956, Du Bois admitted:
“In 1912 I wanted to support Theodore Roosevelt, but his Bull Moose convention dodged the Negro problem and I tried to help elect Wilson as a liberal Southerner. Under Wilson came the worst attempt at Jim Crow legislation and discrimination in civil service that we had experienced since the Civil War.”
What’s interesting about this whole history at the time of Woodrow Wilson is we see the term “racism” introduced into the American lexicon for the first time–around 1913.
Well, I can’t say for certain (perhaps others can), but it is something I’ve been inquiring into. I do have a theory, though, and it has to do with another major paradigm shift within the social fabric that occurred around 1912-13: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
If you carefully read the original title of Darwin’s famous work on The Origin of Species, you’ll see it reads: “The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life and the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.“
Some might argue that this is where the birth of gender and identity politics began. Granted, it may not have been Darwin’s intent to create a political ideology based in racism and sexism, nor is it my intent to the impugn the man. Charles Darwin made many important scientific observations and meticulously recorded them; he was also a devout Catholic, to be fair.
Unfortunately, many Marxists, socialists and “progressives” have embraced Darwinian Theory for their own nefarious purposes, claiming it to be irrefutable proof of the non-existence of God–men like, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mao Zedong, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Emperor Hirohito, Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Fidel Castro, among many others. What Darwin’s theory provided for these monsters of history was a means to replace God with the all-powerful state.
Shortly after Darwin’s publication of The Origin of Species, Marx and Engels corresponded in letters praising Darwin’s work. In one letter, Marx wrote:
“These last few weeks, I have read all sorts of things. Among others, Darwin’s book of Natural Selection … This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.”
The theory of Darwinian evolution was–and is–the scientific foundation for Marxism. Many communist posters of the time featured the books of Darwin and Marx together.
The Darwinian theory of evolution plays a very prominent role in the ideology of the left. This fact manifested itself during Woodrow Wilson’s day. The ideological divide between the Progressives and the Republicans could clearly be seen at the time with the notion of “Newtonian government versus Darwinian government.”
One of the most sacred tenets of Progressive ideology is the theory that political systems must be adapted to meet the needs of their time–meaning: they are constantly evolving, ever-changing entities that require constantly evolving, ever-changing governmental systems to adapt to those changes. Another reason why the left so strongly emphasizes the concept of change.
This belief in the constant evolution of political systems also explains why progressives look at the U.S. Constitution as a “living, breathing document” (Darwinian government — evolving), instead of a document that clearly lays out absolutes in the form of checks and balances and the separation of powers between the co-equal branches of government–executive, legislative and judicial (Newtonian government — fixed, absolute). For the progressives, the separation of powers (see positive & negative liberties) is a hindrance to their desire of creating a large administrative bureaucracy that will provide for all the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the American populace.
So let me just stop right here and get back to the issue of progressive racism. But as you can see, it’s difficult to separate racism from Marxian socialism–as a matter of fact, it’s impossible, as we will soon see.
Naturally, anyone who has studied the history of the Democrat Party knows its history is one steeped in racism; and it started well before the term “racism” ever entered the American lexicon. But since the left insists on rewriting their own intensely racist past, and perpetuating the lie that the Democrats overwhelmingly supported the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s, I think it behooves us to review some Democrat history:
Woodrow Wilson promised “fairness and justice” for American blacks if elected. But he broke his promise to the NAACP by seeking their support in 1913, then, once in office, he segregated the federal government–bringing Jim Crow to Washington. Additionally, progressive stalwart, FDR, refused to support anti-lynching legislation when it was proposed during his presidency.
But many on the left will try and rationalize all this bigotry as just a product of the times … the implication being that all white people were just institutionalized racists. Well, if that’s the case, who did the institutionalizing? But I digress.
Even into LBJ’s administration, despite all the flowery rhetoric contrary, the cynicism and blatant racist sentiment exhibited by so many progressives and Democrats of the past toward black Americans, and other minorities, proved to be alive and well in Johnson’s infamous quote to two governors aboard Air Force One.
“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson
“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” —LBJ
Amazingly, I’ve debated liberals on this hypocrisy and they don’t deny Johnson said it. But they justify and rationalize it all by claiming Lyndon Johnson “got things done in the Senate.” See, once again, for the left, the ends justify the means. All that matters is the “progressive cause” of dismantling representative government and creating an ever-larger administrative and bureaucratic nanny state. That’s why even black liberals will sing the praises of Lyndon Johnson’s so-called Great Society, despite LBJ’s derogatory view of them. It really appears to be a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome, if you ask me.
But despite all this undeniable history of racism that has always existed in some form or fashion on the left, the left insists on rewriting history–and just plain lying–to make it appear as if they are the champions of minorities and civil rights. Well, let’s not forget what civil rights truly are–The Bill of Rights. But I digress.
Just how far is the left willing to go to rewrite their horribly racist past? Apparently pretty far … as far as they can, as one recent example exemplfies.
A report appeared that a plaque installed outside the Frank Lloyd Wright Building at Northeastern Illinois University in 1905 contains an inscription claiming Abraham Lincoln was a “Democrat.”
The explanation from the university for not identifying Abraham Lincoln as a Republican of the Grand Old Party (GOP) hardly convinces me that the intent was not purposeful to misidentify Lincoln as a Democrat.
The Blaze reported:
However, university officials defended the text in a statement earlier this month, saying the Republican president was identified as a Democrat because he was an advocate for democracy.
“From time to time, the integrity of a plaque honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln is questioned,” the statement said.
“According to building archives, the word democrat was used because Lincoln was an advocate for democracy—the political or social equality of all people,” it continued. “The word was not chosen to reflect a political affiliation.”
That explanation, however, hasn’t quelled concerns from Kirk who told Fox News he considers it “salacious miseducation.”
On Monday I posted an excerpt from Robert Oliver’s article, “Letter to Oprah About Upcoming Film on Woodrow Wilson” and tweeted out the link to it. Shortly thereafter Robert Oliver tweeted me back.
— Robert Oliver (@interactionswst) November 18, 2013
Robert pointed me to some more glittering examples of the Democrats’ selective memory regarding their racist history.
With the recent Obamacare debacle unfolding, many Americans are questioning the credibility and honesty of the Obama Administration, having been promised on numerous occasions they could keep their private insurance plans and doctors, not to mention the promise of a significant reduction in premiums. But it’s turning out to be untrue, or as the New York Times might say, “incorrect promises” were made.
Amazingly, lying to the American people–in effect, deceiving and betraying their trust–is not a problem for the left–the ends justify the means. They only lied for the “greater common good.” Besides, you’re not expert or smart enough to know what’s good for you. It’ll work out in the end when the unwashed masses realize how wonderful it will all be in some distant point in the future … despite the fact coercion, manipulation, prevarication, intimidation, subterfuge, intrigue and agitation must be used in order to get them to the utopian fantasy land of “Heaven on Earth”–a “socialist paradise.”
When one is not confined by any morality, or burdened with any core values (cf. Alinsky), one can try and get away with stuff like this:
One of the favored tactics of the radical left, as was particularly evident during the Soviet-era, is to always accuse their enemies of the very same crimes they themselves are committing. It’s a powerful, simple and effective tactic, especially when used against individuals who are timid and loathe to resist or fight back against false charges. It puts the opponent immediately into a defensive position. Of course, such a tactic greatly benefits if the one making the false accusations has the ability to widely disseminate such misinformation and disinformation–meaning: they own the media.
And what do we see from the left nowadays? We hear a constant mantra from progressives, Democrats, liberals and the mainstream-media accusing Republicans, Tea Partiers and conservatives (actually, anybody who disagrees with them) of being racists and fascists.
Never mind the fact that it was the Republican Party that was originally formed in 1854 as the “Abolitionist Party”; or the fact a Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, was responsible for the emancipation of the slaves; or the fact that it was primarily Republican support that passed the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s, while the Democrats mostly opposed it; or the fact that the liberal media can’t find any evidence of widespread racism within the Tea Party, despite the fact they claim as much. Facts do not matter, only perception matters to the left. That’s why the left rarely lets the truth get in their way–ends justify the means.
Progressives are hard-pressed, in my opinion, to disconnect themselves from their Marxian socialist roots. When one contrasts and compares the ideology of modern-day progressivism to Marxian socialism, the parallels are hard to ignore–the state over faith, collective over individual, redistribution over free enterprise, common over competition, direct democracy over representative government, democracy over republic, etc.
Once again, it’s impossible to look at origins of progressivism and Marxian socialism and not encounter bigotry of the first magnitude.
Consider the words of Karl Marx:
“Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.”
Additionally, there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding Charles Darwin and his views on different races. Since I’m not scholar on the life of Darwin, I cannot confirm one way or the other. But there are those who have forwarded the claim that Darwin held his own racist views (examples here and here). Of course, one can Google “is Darwin a racist?” and find many left-wing sources who will counter the assertion Darwin was a de facto racist. But, I must admit, his study of “favored races” does beg the question, particularly considering how central Darwinian theory and the issue of racism is to the radical left.
Now, it’s always around this time in the debate that many liberals will counter and ask me, “Haven’t you ever heard of the Southern Strategy?” Ah, yes, the tiresome and thoroughly debunked Southern Strategy (see here and here). The claim by the left is the left and right switched sides during the Nixon-era. It’s not that anyone on the left who knows the racist history of the Democrat Party denies it, it’s just that they want you to believe that the old school racist Democrats like Bull Connor or Lester Maddox have now morphed into the Republican Party.
I personally think Bill Whittle has crafted one of the better rebuttals to the fallacy of the Southern Strategy and the left’s ridiculous assertion that the Dixiecrats and conservatives suddenly switched sides.
“Now, of course, modern progressives say that’s all true; it’s completely true; one hundred percent true, absolutely true … but in the 60’s the two parties switched sides, you see. In other words, if Florida is beating Florida State 60-0 at half-time, and then the Gators come out in the second half and score 72 more points … well, the Florida State fan says the Seminoles really won the game, because at half time both teams went into the locker room and they switched uniforms. They actually believe this. They believe this because it’s easier than facing the actual truth, which is that Lyndon Baynes Johnson, who fought tooth and nail against civil rights and the Eisenhower Administration (so go look that up), said, famously, in front of two governors on Air Force One: ‘I’ll have those niggers voting democratic for the next two hundred years.’”
One of the truly dangerous aspects to slandering people as racists and fascists is the sort of rage and hatred it can engender in the populace at large, especially if a prolonged effort is made to agitate the masses against a specific group of individuals. One would hope the horrific examples from history–such as the Holocaust or the Slave Trade–would be enough to give people pause in engaging in blanket condemnations of entire groups of people for merely a difference in political philosophy. But evil hasn’t gone anywhere, despite the moral relativist protestations from the left-side of the political spectrum.
One very disturbing recent example of this sort of blind and senseless rage against innocent people is the phenomenon of flash mobs of black youths attacking unsuspecting white bystanders–known as the “Knockout Game.” I don’t think I need to point out what sort of reaction we would be witnessing from the White House and the liberal media if the mobs were young white males attacking innocent black victims. The National Guard would probably have been deployed to every major city by now. This sort of “mobocracy” was something our Founders warned us about–the tyranny of the mob sans the rule of law.
The fact that the president has failed to say anything about this very troubling trend is beyond incredulous, despite his willingness to comment on the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Cambridge police incident (cf. “Beer Summit”); it’s sinister and cynical. I find it unconscionable. The president could take a lead, but he chooses not to. That’s a real head-scratcher for me.
But I will say this: there are very few issues where I have actually persuaded someone to abandon deeply-held beliefs because I was able to provide evidence and facts that seriously challenged deeply-held beliefs were in error. But I have, on more than one occasion, explained some of the racist history of the Democrat Party to young blacks and was met with astonishment, even anger. But once they realize I’m not lying, they realize someone else has been lying to them. And nobody likes being lied to.
It seems that lying is a big, big problem with the left. But the problem with lying is once the lie is exposed–the cat’s out of the bag … there’s no putting it back in. The truth has a timeless power all its own. A lie is like ashes … it all just blows away to nothing. But the truth stands firm like a rock.
“There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” (Matthew 10:26-27)
The only way to beat back The Big Lie is to hammer back with The Big Truth. To do nothing is to allow The Big Lie to continue without opposition or resistance. And I would hope we all know how that’s worked out in the past. Like Proverbs 18:17 states, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.“